The U.S. “Foreign Policy” probably takes the first step towards the public acknowledgment of what has been shown towards the nose of the Americans only in the form of criticism, malice and cartoons so far:
The U.S. and NATO have the same goals as the Islamist terrorist, common interests and they are therefore allied with them.
Or should be allied with them. So far, it only follows as a kind of conclusion of the geopolitical shifts since 9/11. It remains to be seen when it will come into a kind of an open conversation that the one side is in many parts the “child” of the other side.
That the Americans name the Russians as the enemy number one, this is much honor but it it is no longer quite true, of course. The enemy number one is now already another side since a long time. The article in “Foreign Policy” is, however, designed to especially fit on the U.S. consumers with its stereotypes, and it takes some common mnemonic devices to understand the essential meaning of the writing.
That you take Russia and give them, as usual, the role of the Evil Empire, is from the perspective of the author a legitimate mean. However, important in the text is something else. The Americans paint a pretty accurate picture of their opponent in the Middle East. This enemy is an ally of Russia. And the enemy is not a state or country – this principle is obsolete – but he is defined by religious affiliation.
There is a precise positioning: the Shiites are the “bad guys”, the Sunnis – the “good guys”. Well, they are not good because they are good guys, but because they do fight against the “evil”.
And then, the logic is applied, and this leads to “perverse” (sic) train of thoughts, which are, however, nothing more than an admission:
John Arquilla writes in the Foreign Policy (magazine), that “in fact, we will for that reason alone support the Al-Qaeda because they are against the Shiites, against Assad, against Iran and also against the Shiites in Baghdad”. Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum).
This passage will be certainly repeated for some time by one or another author in different variations, until the Americans have finally swallowed it:
the Shiites, they are the evil guys, the dictators brood, that is the collective Hitler of today.
Regardless of the fact that a “Shiite bloc” does not exist until today, the U.S. already are working on a recognized term and definition against it in order to plant this already in the minds of the masses. In this sense, they are ahead the events, while Russia still remains persistently and talks about to be for the peace in the world and particularly in the Middle East.
There are two options in this situation.
Either you play by those rules that are imposed by the U.S. and, thus, you implicit with the upcoming conflict, which is evoked by them, and within the “enemy detection system” – ie “our” or “the enemy” – will be determined according to the version of Islam; or you try to define your own kind of “detection system” within this inevitable conflict and thus, you popularize it as well.
Syria is still behind in terms of the information and media, despite all the success “on the ground”.
For that reason alone, because Syria has no means to oppose to the imposed model of the conflict interpretation by the West (“Alawites vs. Sunni majority”). The Syrians constantly trying to convey that this is untrue and that they live in a secular state, in which such denominational differences have no role / play no role.
However, this is an attempt to catch up, it is a totally reflexive tactics. There is currently no model that could be used against an alleged war of confessions and that could be provided to the global information-consumers in the form of simple sentences as well as in columns and comics.
Thus, there is no other mean than the military victory. But this victory is both, more difficult to achieve and it is also more expensive in all aspects.
As long as there is no catchy construct to oppose this, for my sake even on the ideological construct as long as it works, the enemies of Syria are always able to hire new cannon fodder, which will sincerely believe they go to Syria for the jihad.
The wars of the modern era are now primarily information wars and wear a cognitive character. If one is unarmed in this field, he risks the downfall or he has to pay a probably unacceptably high price for a win.